ME undergrad named a 2020 Knight of St. Patrick
MechSE senior Brian Dardón has been named one of The Grainger College of Engineering’s 2020 Knights of St. Patrick.
The tradition of this honor is rooted in the celebration of Saint Patrick who, according to legend, drove the snakes out of Ireland. In 1903 at the University of Missouri, Columbia, students declared that Saint Patrick must have been an engineer to accomplish such a feat and the tradition of naming engineering knights was born. In the year 1950, the tradition was brought to the University of Illinois. Ever since, eight to 15 engineering students who demonstrate excellence in leadership, character, and excellence have been selected to receive the award each year.
Dardón, who will graduate in May majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in the Hoeft Technology and Management Program, exemplifies the characteristics of a Knight of St. Patrick, and he has tackled a wide range of roles during his undergraduate career.
He serves as the Vice President of Alumni and Professional Affairs on the student board of the Technology & Management minor. In this role he coordinates alumni networking events, plans corporate sponsorship opportunities, and helps with general program admittance. In addition, Dardón was a member of the Engineering Employment Expo Committee where he served as a co-coordinator for information sessions, met with companies who visited the Engineering Career Fair, and helped ensure the fair ran smoothly.
Dardón has also been largely involved in technical engineering work. In his underclassmen years he served as a project lead for the suspension subsystem for Formula SAE. He is also involved in the rapid prototyping lab and is qualified as a Superuser. He is fully trained to run all of the equipment in the lab, process incoming orders, operate all machines, and handle all post-processing and customer interactions. Many of the customers are graduate students who are performing research that need 3D-printed elements. With this rapid prototyping knowledge Brian also worked as an independent design contractor for several companies, his favorite of which was a corporation that wanted to 3D-print dog biscuits.
In addition to all of this, Dardón spent time teaching and served as an Engineering 100 Engineering Learning Assistant (ELA) for students in the Pre-Engineering Program. In his class he focused on walking students through the process of applying for an engineering degree program and helping them reflect on what they’re truly interested in pursuing for a career.
Reflecting on his time at Illinois, Dardón said he appreciated the MechSE department and all its faculty and advisors who have been great mentors to him. He urged students to seek out a wide range of leadership roles that will make them well-rounded engineers and develop their project work, technical experience, and communication skills. He stresses that there are many opportunities to take advantage of, and students will be able to get great benefits out of them if they put in honest effort.
Congratulations to all of the 2020 Knights of St. Patrick!
- Elena Kamis, AE
- Diana Slater, BioE
- Faisal Masood, BioE
- Julie Lorenzo, CEE
- Caren Zeng, CS
- Nupoor Gandhi, CS
- Richa Vijayvergiya, ECE
- Teagan Mathur, EPhys
- Priyalini Ai Bharath, MatSE
- Talen Sehgal, MatSE
- Brian Dardón, MechSE
They will be honored at a special Knighting Ceremony on Friday, April 17.